As reported by AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins, according to the latest figures from Eurostat, EU pig slaughter in May was nearly 8 per cent down on the same month last year.
Throughput totalled 18.8 million head, 1.6 million fewer than a year earlier, with COVID-19 related disruption taking its toll.
The number of pigs killed across the EU in the first five months of the year was down by 3 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, falling to 100.1 million head.
Marginally higher carcase weights resulted in pig meat production across the year to date being down by 2.5 per cent compared to a year earlier at 9.47 million tonnes. Production in May alone was nearly 7 per cent lower year-on-year.
Ms Wilkins commented: “Despite the overall downward movement in May, there were contrasting trends in different member states. Some countries that had faced disruption in April continued in the same vein; German throughput was 7% lower than last May and Italian slaughter was down by 17%.”
Elsewhere, the Netherlands and France recorded larges fall for the first time of -28%, and -14% respectively. The scale of the decline reported in the Netherlands is larger than elsewhere, and while it is certain that pig throughput was affected by coronavirus outbreaks in abattoirs during the month, the decline is perhaps a little overstated.
She added: “In contrast, throughput was somewhat higher on the year in Denmark, Spain, and some of the smaller pig producers. Danish kill in May was up by nearly 2%. With falls earlier in the year though, Danish slaughter for the year to date was stable overall.”